George Michael plays "final" major shows

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The Independent Culture

George Michael told British fans he was pleased to be home when he took to the stage for one of the final shows in his two-year 25 Live Tour. The singer also revealed he planned to release a Christmas single.

Michael was speaking to fans last night at the first of two arena shows at Earls Court in London - the combination of a tour that has consisted of more than 100 dates.

The star played the hits Fastlove, I'm Your Man and Father Figure before saying: "It's f***ing great to be home, I have to tell you.

"When we were last here I think we were probably on show 20 of this tour and I honestly thought it was going to be a three month tour and here we are two years later. You are going to be the recipients of 103 shows' experience."

He then asked the sell-out audience if they remembered the year 1987 before playing a little known song that was only released in America that year, Hard Day.

Michael's tour began in Barcelona in September 2006 and he has entertained more than 1.3 million fans across Europe and North America.

The 21-date American leg of the tour was the first time he had performed there for 17 years and included New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago and Washington.

Last night's and tonight's dates at Earls Court include several hits not previously performed in Britain. Michael told fans that he would be releasing a new Christmas song on Christmas Day which would be free to download. He is also releasing a cover version of Nina Simone's hit Feeling Good, also free to download, on the same day.

Other hits in the show included The Different Corner, Spinning the Wheel, Amazing and Freak which he dedicated to the British tabloid newspapers. He said: "It's about living your life and not giving a f*** what people think."

Some fans of the star were left disappointed last week after they failed to receive tickets for the shows. Trading Standards Officers have been investigating the ticket agency SOS Master Tickets after receiving more than 300 complaints to the National Consumer Direct Helpline.

People supposed to attend the recent V Festival were also left disappointed after the firm's website was taken down and all phone and fax numbers were unavailable.

Graham Burns, chairman of the Association of Secondary Ticket Agencies estimated that 1,500-2,000 people could be affected across all events for which SOS Master Tickets sold tickets.